1997 saw the birth of our first son. Following is his birth
story. I had complications with HELLP Syndrome. Andrew came at just about
31 weeks. He had IUGR at 28 weeks and after he was born he had the run
of Preemie problems.
Monday my husband took me to the Dr.s for my 30 week appointment. We had
plans to go shopping and to dinner afterwards. I had felt OK the past few
days, I was pretty tired but chalked it up to normal Pregnancy problems.
I had no "spots" before my eyes like the Dr. told me to look for but I
did expierence "shooting Stars", I had headaches but they seemed to go
away shortly after they came, I was pretty tired for the past few weeks,
had some mild cramping and nausea nothing alarming nothing that I did just
chalk up to "pregnancy aches and pains".
earlier when I was worried about my underwear being very wet everyday the
Dr.s office said it was just sweat. I had a uneventful PG, I fell early
on and had some spotting but it didn't last very long. I had a pain
in my abdomen that I thought was from the fall it went away but a few weeks
later it came back (week 18 or so this is when I noticed the wetness in
my underwear. The Dr. said it was a pulled muscle, the nurse practiotioner
who saw me one day said it was probably a tear in the uterus, but it should
heal. Now looking back that pain was either the first sign of HELLP Syndrome
or it was a tear and the wetness was amniotic fluid.
went in to the exam room and the nurse took my blood pressure (BP), she
sounded alarmed as she told me to lie down while she got another nurse
to check it again. It was 200/115. Even after 20 minutes on my left side
it only went to 190/100. So it was off to the hospital emergency room I
the hospital they re-checked my BP, it was still high. They also let me
know that I was dialated to 3 and I had lost my mucus plug. They did an
ultrasound (US) and thats were they found out that Andrew had quit growing
at approx. 28 weeks. They let me know that due to my urine having +4 protein,
the high BP & suspected IUGR with the baby it was off to another hospital
that had a NICU (Neonatal Intesive Unit). It was here that I received the
first four steriod shots (betamethasone) to mature the babies lungs.
arriving at the new hospital I was placed on a 24 hour urine analysis.
It came back still +4. That was Tuesday. Wednesday another US was done.
The IUGR was confirmed and also that I had very little fluid around the
baby. My BP was still very high. They placed me on Magnesium to prevent
seizures, an internal monitor on the baby, antibiotics, IV of *fluids*
and oxygen to help the baby.
was the start of the Andrew's birth. The Pitocin only got me to dialate
to 6. They started the drip at 3:30pm on Wednesday. At 6:00pm they started
the epidural. It took them 3 tried to get the needle in. I still have back
spasms in that spot today. The short term pain meant long term relief.
I slept alot after they got the epidural working. I watched the contractions
on the monitor and even though I didn't feel much it was still exhausting.
I chewed ice chips, laid on my left side & was mostly in a daze.
did 3 scalpal PH's to check to acidity of his blood (Andrew has 6 scars
on his face on only one on his *head* the side of his face was there not
his head). On Thursday very early that morning Andrew's heartrate
fell and an Emergency C-Section was announced.
was born at 4:47am. He was quickly taken, away. He had the usual variety
of Preemie problems which you can read about at Andrew's
during the C-Section I told the Doctor that I could feel her cutting. She
told me 'No you can't' and well yes I could. I actually had started throwing
up right before the operation. I don't know if it was the HELLP or if it
was from reaching the transition stage. They upped my meds and I was out
for a while.
the birth I spent several days in Maternal Special Care (ICU). My BP didn't
want to go down and I had developed HELLP (Hemolysis, Elevated Liver, Low
Platelet). While in the midst of shock over having Andrew so suddenly it
came as another crisis to realize that my health was not rebounding like
it should have. There was talk of giving me a transfusion had my platelet
level fallen any further. Being Jehovah's Witnesses we realized that the
Blood issue would be issue (as we do not accept blood transfusions). We
were very careful the whole pregnancy to make sure the Doctors and hospitals
knew our stand on the Blood issue. We had received some great advice and
suggestions from the Blood Liason Committee which really helped. I was
almost unprepared mentally that the situation would call for me to be in
that position. After much prayer my platelet levels began to slowly rise.
I noticed that when I quit using the pain meds in the intrvenous pump I
began to think coherently again. Eventually things cleared up and I am
hoping that come my next pregnancy things will go a little easier.
June 26th 1999 I gave birth to a healthy full term, pre-eclampsia &
HELLP free baby. Amanda
Michelle came into this world at 6 pounds 6 ounces after a successful
VBAC! My OB, Dr. Al-Jerdi, was a huge factor in how well this pregnancy
went. He was concerned about my previous history with pre-e and HELLP
and made sure we did everything to watch for the earliest signs again.
I had check ups from every 2 weeks starting just before 30 weeks and I
had liver function tests and platelet counts ran throughout to watch for
anything that might develope. In addition to that there were many
other things that made all the difference in my humble opinion.
you live in SouthEastern Michigan and would like to contact Dr. Al-Jerdi
you can reach him at 734-789-WELL or write to him at
Rock, Mi 48132